Maria from Glasgow
“I first met Adnan Ahmed in July 2016. I had just finished an interview for a part-time job and was walking to Glasgow Central Station to get the train home. As I reached the Co-op I noticed a man walking towards me. He was smiling and looked friendly I assumed he would ask for directions. As soon as he stopped in front of me and said “You look Latino” I knew he was hitting on me. This wasn’t the first time I had been approached. It happened on a train once by another man, and I worked in a jeweller’s previously and it occurred a lot there. My first thought when I realised Adnan wanted to chat was I need to get home. I’d had a rubbish day and wanted to get some dinner. He started to guess my ethnicity although it was obvious I was Pakistani. I said I had to get home and he asked what I was doing. I told him I had an interview as I was currently unemployed.
We continued to have a normal, flirty conversation. I didn’t feel uncomfortable at all. He made me laugh and lifted my spirits. It only lasted around 10 mins and then he asked if I was free for a coffee that week. I said I wasn’t interested which was the truth at that time I wasn’t looking for any kind of relationship and I wasn’t the casual dating type. He asked for my number and said he would text twice and if I didn’t respond he wouldn’t text again. I decided to give him my number and then we shook hands and parted ways. As I walked away I did think why I did I give him my number but thought oh well won’t ever see him again anyway.
True to his word Adnan texted that evening. Just a funny text about me being unemployed. I thought about texting back but left it, I couldn’t be bothered with men. Then again two days later he texted. Something funny about meeting my twin on the train. I did laugh but just deleted his number. It was flattering obviously. All girls like attention. After that I didn’t hear from him again. No texts or phone calls. Then in January 2017 on my way to work at The Perfume Shop in Buchanan Galleries one day I noticed someone walking beside me. I turned, and it was Adnan. He was again smiling and looked in a good mood and again came out with a similar line “You look Italian”. I continued walking and he walked with me. We chatted and at first, I thought he was joking as he didn’t seem to remember me. Then I realised that he didn’t remember me. I told him I was going to work, and I wasn’t interested. He asked for my number and I said no. I mean he already had it he’d just forgotten. We shook hands again and I walked into work.
I told my friends at work about him and we laughed about it. I didn’t think much of it though. A few days later I was cleaning some shelves and as I turned he was standing at the counter. Again smiling. I didn’t realise anyone was in the shop. At this point it was like I knew him almost. He said he was passing and noticed me. He asked me what I was doing after work and I said I was busy, which I was. I then told him that we had met before. He looked at me then I saw it click. He remembered my name and the first time we met. I laughed and told him I wasn’t the girl for him I was too boring. He said I should go for one coffee with him. I eventually said ok. I mean it was too much of a coincidence us meeting three times. Plus, it was a confidence boost for me. I thought why not go on one date he seemed nice.
A couple of days later we met at Glasgow Central Station and went to Starbucks for our first date. As soon as I sat down with him, we started talking, not like before but about real things like family, religion and just life, I started to see a deeper side to him. Before he was just a cheeky guy, but he was very smart and polite. From then on, we continued dating. Every date we got closer and got to know each other more. We opened up to each other gradually.
A few months after we started dating he told me about the YouTube channel and the dating business. At first when I saw the channel I was confused and didn’t see what purpose it gave. Adnan was very honest about it and answered any questions I had openly. He even let me meet some clients and I started to see that it was more than just dating. Some clients were very quiet in front of me, they had no confidence. Some of his friends became so open with me about life and wanting to find girlfriends but as soon as they saw a girl they would chicken out because of anxiety.
The business also encouraged men to learn how to publicly speak and become more spiritual. It was more than just dating. I knew he done demonstrations known as “infields” and of course for any partner this would be uncomfortable. But I trust Adnan and I know that he has never cheated on me throughout our whole relationship. He is a good man and a great dad. I met Adnan’s daughter around 6 months after I met Adnan. He was very protective over his daughter and wanted me to meet her when it was the right time. He hadn’t brought a woman around his daughter before so wanted to make sure we were serious before doing so. Me and his daughter hit it off instantly and we became a little family very quickly.
We would arrange days out and I would see her often when she was at her dads. Seeing Adnan as a dad was one of the many reasons I fell in love with him. He’s a great father and puts so much time and effort into his daughter. He ensured she had piano lessons, swimming lessons, Islamic lessons and taught her MMA boxing to protect herself. She was learning many skills and loved being over all the time. Me and Adnan became an exclusive couple around July 2017. We realised we loved each other, and it felt right. We knew each other well and we loved being with one another.
I feel protected by Adnan. There was never any sexual assault or assault. Adnan is very loving, and I have always felt 100% comfortable around him right from our first date. I have never had any uneasy feeling. Around a year after we met I told my family about Adnan. Pakistani culture doesn’t permit boyfriends or girlfriends, so we hadn’t told our parents we were dating. When my family found out they weren’t happy. They did not approve of the relationship as Adnan is older and has a child from a previous marriage. In Pakistani culture this is not considered the ‘best match’.
Since they learned of our relationship they have attempted to keep me away from Adnan. In early 2018 the police came out to speak to me regarding a concern raised by a family member. The police came to check if there had been any domestic abuse or if I was at risk. I informed them that this was a family matter and a waste of police time. There was no domestic abuse or threat toward me. The matter went no further.
Adnan is innocent and does not deserve to be punished for something that did not happen, whether we’re together or not. During the last year and a half, I have spent a lot of time at Adnan’s family home and got to know his mother very well. We have become very close. Over that last year I have lived on my own and Adnan has lived on his own. We spent the majority of our nights together in our flats. We bought a car together in October as me and Adnan had started new jobs. We enjoyed life together and were very happy.
We booked to go on Holiday in December 2018 and went to Marrakech in Morocco for a week. We had a great time and as this was our first holiday together it was very special. We relaxed and spent a great deal of time together. Due to our relationship becoming more serious Adnan had decided he was going to give the dating business up. The dating world had become boring and he didn’t want to focus on dating anymore. He was going to start doing more life coaching as this was something he was really interested in and very good at.
On the 10th Jan 2019, the BBC Social Video went viral on Facebook and Twitter. I was at work and had to come home because of the amount of stress it caused me. Me and Adnan stayed together that night and I was very upset. We were both amazed at how big it was becoming but figured it would die down. Adnan hadn’t done anything wrong but due to how the video portrayed him the public reaction was outrageous. Although the extent of it was not. When the police got involved the following day we all assumed he would be home that evening. He has done nothing illegal.
It will now be 7 months, and Adnan is sitting on remand under false charges. The stress and difficulty this has all brought is unexplainable. Me, Adnan and his family have been estranged from his daughter and have no contact with her. The turmoil this has brought has been awful. Adnan’s mum’s house was burgled a month after Adnan was remanded. We all desperately want Adnan home so that we can continue our peaceful and happy life.”
There are more statements and witnesses that can confirm Adnan was running a dating business and that he was trying to move away from this line of work, but yet again these people are afraid to come forward encase they are demonised in the media also.
Adnan met his current partner through daytime dating. She can testify that he never sexually assaulted, assaulted, threatened or abused her.
Adnan is estranged from his 11-year old daughter since being remanded and is unable to look after his elderly mother, who was robbed weeks after Adnan was remanded by a criminal gang who broke into her house, destroying her property and stealing her life savings in cash as well as a lifetime worth of jewellery totaling to approximately £100k in value.